Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jet Boat Operations

Probably one of my favorite things to do this summer was guide our jet boat tours on the Matanuska River. It gave me a chance to learn more about the land around me and it got me out on the fast-flowing waters created by my favorite glacier. While on the river when not splashing about in rapids, I got to point out features to guests, such as the braids of the river, the blue-gray color of the water caused by copious amounts of rock flour, the lateral moraine from the last glacial maximum of 20,000 years ago when the glacier reached Anchorage and the poor porcupine that was stuck on the hillside for days. Sadly, our Coast Guard Licensed Captain had to return to college, so our jet boat operations ended on August 17th. However, being out on the boat, jetting up and down the river with views of the glacier and the surrounding valley and mountains will be one of the joyful memories I take home with me from this Alaskan Summer of 2012.
The Matanuska River and the glaciated valley (and 20,000 year old lateral moraine!) it runs through

Leading my last jet boat tour, made especially fun as it was with the parents of one of my summer family members

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Final Family Climb Night

This week my summer family and I got out on the glacier for our final family ice climbing night and it didn't disappoint! We had 4 ropes set, the sun was out, the clouds were amazing and we were in a cool, sort of hard to get to location. And to make the night even better, a friend and I took a dip in a lake on the moraine on our walk out. Ice climbing is definitely one of my favorite activities from my 2012 Alaskan summer.
A cool picture of my friend, Claire, working on a tough overhang

My first climb of the night up an ice crack

The resulting picture
Thanks, Rich.

My friend, Chris, who was supposed to be belaying me but I see now he was hamming it up for the camera

Our view from the climb location at upper ice fall wall
It's gotten way bigger over the course of the summer

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Kitchen

Here at the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska, our needs are very little. We get up, do our job, have some fun in the evenings and then go to bed. Rinse and repeat.

That being said, when there are over 15 people sharing a cramped, communal kitchen with only 3 propane burners, we quickly realized the need for for a new one. So we built one. Those with construction experience were more involved than others, but everyone contributed something to this endeavor. We now have 6 burners and open space! Cooking dinner last night was almost as comfortable as cooking dinner in my Portland home!
Enjoying a cold brew after a hard days work getting moved into our new kitchen!